New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioHochul raises .6 million since launching gubernatorial campaign De Blasio says he won't run for New York governor Watershed moment in NYC: New law allows noncitizens to vote MORE (D) apologized Thursday for quoting infamous Argentine revolutionary figure Ernesto “Che” Guevara in saying “Hasta la victoria siempre” at a Miami rally.
The phrase from Guevara, who is widely disliked by Miami’s large Cuban population, translates roughly to “Ever on to victory.”
“The eyes of the world are on Miami-Dade and on this airport,” de Blasio said Thursday during a union rally at Miami International Airport before quoting Guevara and passing off the microphone.
“Hasta la victoria siempre...”— liz roldan (@lizroldancbs4) June 27, 2019
Says Bill De Blasio in *Miami* pic.twitter.com/fAc2Wds5YD
But de Blasio apologized on Twitter hours later, saying he "did not know the phrase...was associated with Che Guevara."
"I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way. I certainly apologize for not understanding that history," he wrote. "I only meant it as a literal message to the striking airport workers that I believed they would be victorious in their strike."
I did not know the phrase I used in Miami today was associated with Che Guevara & I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way. I certainly apologize for not understanding that history. (1/2)— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) June 27, 2019
De Blasio’s remark was widely panned, notably by Florida’s Democratic Party chairwoman, who called on him to apologize.
"Mayor Bill DeBlasio does not speak for Floridians or the Florida Democratic Party and he would be wise to apologize,” Terrie Rizzo tweeted.
Mayor Bill DeBlasio does not speak for Floridians or the Florida Democratic Party and he would be wise to apologize.— Terrie Rizzo (@TerrieRizzo) June 27, 2019
De Blasio spoke at the airport in support of striking union workers after he participated in the first night of the Democratic debates Wednesday.
The comment is controversial in nature because it was adopted as a catchphrase by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro after Guevara joined as a top lieutenant.
Many Cubans residing in Southern Florida fled Cuba to escape Castro’s Communist government.
The comment came after de Blasio gave what was widely considered a lackluster performance on the debate stage Wednesday night.